about us






The Days of Vengeance

Author: David Chilton

A Book Review by Kenneth J. Davies

Chilton, David. The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation. Ft. Worth: Dominion Press, 1987. 721 pp. Hardback $24.95. Available: Institute for Christian Economics, Box 8000, Tyler, TX 75711.

David Chilton is the pastor of the Church of the Redeemer, an Orthodox Presbyterian congregation in Placerville, California. He and his wife, Darlene, have three children: Nathan, Jacob, and Abigail.

The Days of Vengeance is Chilton’s latest, and possibly greatest, work to date. As stated in the subtitle, this is a commentary on the book of Revelation. It is a refreshing change from the usual “pessimillennialist” exposition, due to its somewhat preterist viewpoint and covenant outlook. According to Chilton, it was the discovery that Revelation was written in the pattern of a covenant document that helped him to unlock its mysteries.

In discussing the date of Revelation, Chilton acknowledges it was written before A.D. 70 and its subject was the coming judgment of Israel by Christ. In this respect, his book is written from a preterist position. He agrees with many of the statements of Max King (cf. The Spirit of Prophecy), yet says that King’s position of “consistent preterism” (i.e. that the coming of Christ in A.D. 70 was the Second & Final Coming) is heresy, simply because it was not espoused by any of the historic church creeds. Is inclusion in the ancient creeds necessary for a doctrine to be true? Was Chilton's understanding of the book of Revelation taught in the ancient creeds? Were Calvin's formulations understood and stated clearly in the ancient creeds? Is he saying that any further study and/or deeper understanding of the Bible is impossible today, and necessarily wrong? If so, then what is all this talk about the “New Reformation,” and why is Chilton teaching Revelation differently than others in the reformed school?

The coming of Christ at the destruction of Jerusalem, says Chilton, was merely a coming, not the Final Second Coming, which he says is still future to us. This does not drastically limit the usefulness of his commentary. However, because of his view, he sees everything after the Millennium (i.e. the ending of history at the “Last Day,” the Resurrection, the destruction of death, the little season of Satan’s release, and the final battle against God) as being yet future, since, in his opinion, we are living in the Millennium now. It is hard to take his claims to being a preterist seriously, when he places all the major events of the eschaton still in the future. At best, he is only “somewhat preterist” in his approach to the book of Revelation.

Chilton presents many good arguments from both sacred and secular history showing that Revelation is indeed speaking of the coming of Christ in the “last days” to judge and do away with the Old Testament system of “types and shadows.” Although there are times when the “literal” interpretation for parts of Revelation seems to fit well with the facts of history, Chilton shows that often it is more appropriate to interpret Scripture “spiritually.” This not only makes sense, but it avoids the pitfall of a woodenly literal, (and often ridiculous) interpretation.

For those inclined to do research, this book contains an extensive bibliography, with many of the works being from a preterist position.

This book is not particularly difficult to read, but is no Lindsey paperback either! It is worth the time and effort! It was well researched and documented, and definitely has substance to it. We just wish Chilton would go all the way into a consistent preterist position, rather than just superficially flirt with it.

[ back to top ]

[ sign our guestbook ]

[ view our guestbook ]

[ ask us a question by email ]

[ tell your friends about this page ]

[ home ][ study center ][ store ]
[ make a donation ][ listen live ]

©2003-2004 Grace Ministries.